Six of the best...battery-powered bikes
- Credit: PA
The increased popularity in cycling after the successes of last summer is clear, but taking yourself into the office in a state of perspiration may not be ideal.
These electric cycles don’t take away all the strain of two-wheeled travel but they certainly make those inclines much more manageable - and who doesn’t want to get a little fitter anyway?
n Lightweight - YikeBike: Carbon - £3,530 from www.leftfieldbikes.com
Tipping the scales at just under 12kg, this is one of the smallest and lightest folding ebikes around. At first glance, it may look as if you’d need a certain amount of skill to keep upright, but it comes with anti-skid regenerative brakes and is suitable for a vast amount of surfaces. Plus with indicators and a full LED lighting system, you’re sure to be noticed. Speeds of up to 14mph can be achieved and it’s plenty of fun too.
n Easy rider - Gocycle G2R - £2,799 from www.gocycle.com
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With a fully enclosed belt-drive, this environmentally friendly two-wheeler ensures your garments remain grime-free as you effortlessly pass the traffic jams on your way to work. The Gocycle displays speed, distance and battery level on the handlebar dash and the motor kicks in at the touch of a button when you decide that pedal power is off the menu.
n Peak performance - Smart Cycle - £2,495. Visit http://uk.smart.com for more information.
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New from the folk that brought us the microcar is this sleek-looking cycle. The design is quite brilliant and it can back up these good looks with great performance from the ultra-efficient motor. The ebike has an instrument panel on the handlebars to offer riding data such as speed/distance travelled and you can even charge your gadgets via the built-in USB port. You can get up to 60 miles on a full charge at about 15mph, plus there are three levels of assistance.
n Road racer - EBCO UCL20 Electric Bike - £899.99 from www.halfords.com
This bike, with its low-step design, is ideal for leisurely pursuits and short commutes. It features a regular seven-speed gear change, so it can be used as a regular cycle, or with a kick of power should you want some. The removable battery will take you up to a maximum of 38 miles from base, and it charges from flat in about six hours. All round, it’s a very decent bike for its price.
n Circus style - SBU V3 Self-Balancing Unicycle - £1,485 from www.maxwellanddawson.co.uk
If you’re really looking for an alternative means of transport, then look no further. Thankfully, it shouldn’t take you months to be able to get on board and start moving as this electric unicycle employs an integrated balancing system. The motion-sensitive steering requires you to lean forwards to move and lean backwards to slow down or stop from a top speed of 15mph - and that seems quite enough on one wheel!
n Take away - Thule EuroPower 916 Electric 2 Bike Carrier - £345.99 from www.halfords.com
For anyone looking to transport their electric bikes further afield, then one of these specifically designed car carriers is required. Mounted to the tow-bar, a foot-operated tilt allows you to access the boot while the cycles and carrier are still attached, and it has an easy-on ramp system, so you don’t need to break into a sweat when loading your bike.